Rats can infest your attic. In fact, attics are some of rat’s favourite hiding places. This is a big problem from homeowners since most attics tend to be inaccessible and contain gaps, cervices and eaves where rats can hide successfully. This problem may be further compounded if your attic doesn’t have good ventilation or sturdy floors. There are many stories told of accidents and mishaps of homeowners going to investigate animal noises in the attic. To defend yourself against intrusions, it is important how rats get inside.
Rats love attics because they are dark, comparably warm especially in winter, safe from predators and plenty of nesting material in the form of insulation.
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Signs of Rats in the Attic
You need to identify the animal living in the attic before you can take measures to evict them. Sometimes water flushing in pipes can sound like rats or rodents in the attic or can be very similar to rats in the walls. You may also have squirrels scurrying across the roof which is a problem since they will eventually break in. Whatever the case, a few ways to identify rats in the attic include;
Rats are nocturnal so hearing noises during the day may point to some other critter in the attic such as squirrels. If you have rats, the likely scenario is the attic is quiet during the day but activity begins at night, usually from dusk to just before dawn. This situation doesn’t conclusively determine that you have rats as it could be some other nocturnal animal like mice or bats.
Rats are also fairly easy to distinguish from other wildlife as they make slight scurrying noises as they run around. Heavy footsteps may be raccoons while distinct scurrying could be a squirrel.
Rat Droppings and Urine
Keep in mind that rat urine and feces contain disease-causing pathogens so do not attempt to clean or handle the droppings without proper safety gear. If at all possible, inspect the attic with a flashlight to check for signs of animal droppings. Rat feces have rounded tips and slightly larger in the center about 3/8 to 1/8 inch diameter. Fresh feces appear a dark brown but become lighter with age.
Again, be careful inspecting the attic and check for signs of chewed wires, insulation, wooden planks and cardboard boxes. Rats need to chew constantly to keep their teeth sharp and the proper size and will even chew through concrete and metal.
Finally, if you have spotted rats in the house or in your yard, it is safe to conclude that they are the offending animal in the attic. You are more likely to spot these rodents at night. Spotting them in the daytime may point to a large infestation.
Hire an Exterminator to Get Rid of Rats in Attic
Exterminators discourage using natural or ultrasonic repellents because these simply don’t work. There are many touted natural rat repellents but if these were effective, rat exterminators in Canada wouldn’t spend so much money on equipment and training.
Rat feces and corpses contain many pathogens and diseases including plague, Trichinosis, rat-bite fever and Lassa fever among others. They also carry parasites such as ticks, fleas and worms which can easily infest humans and pets and spread diseases. Working in an enclosed space with these potential pathogens without a respirator and other appropriate gear is risky and a serious health hazard.
Laying rat traps, sealing entry points and evicting rats is a painstaking job that requires intimate knowledge of rat behaviour across the different species. You also need thorough disinfecting and cleaning after the infestation and repairs. You may need to replace the insulation especially if it is soaked with rat feces and urine.
All these factors make it extremely unlikely that you can get rid of rats in the attic on your own. Hire a licensed rat exterminator in Toronto to take care of the problem and to take the appropriate measures to ensure you never have to deal with this problem again.